Videos

Three perspectives on ocean acidification

Learn from Hans-Otto Pörtner, coordinating lead author of the fifth IPCC report, how the ocean really fares. Follow Felix Mark to the Arctic, as he sets out to investigate how fish react to their changing environment. And join Jelle Bijma on a journey into the past, as he tries to unveil the archive of the history of Earth.

    •    The ocean - A changing ecosystem
    •    Atlantic and Polar Cod under stress
    •    Traces of the past

Gallery

A dive into the reef

Few sea inhabitants are affected so strongly by the rising temperatures and the drop in the pH value of the oceans than the stony coral. Ocean acidification means that the corals run out of energy to form their lime skeleton. In addition, the rise in water temperature prevents the symbiosis between the corals and unicellular algae, the so-called zooxanthellae. These zooxanthellae live in the coral, supply it with energy and nutrients and also give it its colour. Temperature stress leads corals to reject their zooxanthellae. This causes the corals to pale and frequently to die due to the lack of energy supply. Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute currently wish to find out how quickly the coral reefs are changing and whether the animals are able to adapt to the environmental changes. 

 

 

News

A question of light: Ocean acidification slows algae growth in the Southern Ocean

Press release

A question of light: Ocean acidification slows algae growth in the Southern Ocean

In a recent study, scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), demonstrate for the first time that ocean acidification could have negative impacts on diatoms in the Southern Ocean. In laboratory tests they were able to observe that under changing light conditions, diatoms grow more slowly in acidic water. In so doing, Dr Clara Hoppe and her team have overturned the widely held assumption that sinking pH values would stimulate the growth of these unicellular algae.

Enormous Progress in Ocean Acidification Research: New Report Summarises Current State of Knowledge

Press release

Enormous Progress in Ocean Acidification Research: New Report Summarises Current State of Knowledge

Never before have so many scientists conducted research on what impacts the declining pH value of seawater has on animals and plants in the ocean. The experts have now compiled their results for the second report on ocean acidification of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which will be launched today at the twelfth conference of the Parties to the Convention. Major focus is placed on the consequences that also have an effect on us human beings. By means of this summary, the CBD wants to put the problem of the acidifying oceans on the international political agenda.

Scientists analyse the extent of ocean acidification

Press release

Scientists analyse the extent of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification could change the ecosystems of our seas even by the end of this century. Biologists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), have therefore assessed the extent of this ominous change for the first time. In a new study they compiled and analysed all available data on the reaction of marine animals to ocean acidification. The scientists found that whilst the majority of animal species investigated are affected by ocean acidification, the respective impacts are very specific. The AWI-researchers present their results as an Advance Online Publication on